History has a long and rich tradition of apocalyptic predictions—all of which were wrong—yet some people still think that this time around in 2012 is the real deal.
Why 2012? Because of ancient Mayan calendars.
Obviously, Mayan calendars not only recorded the days and years, but also longer cycles of about five Millennia, so they could easily make calendars that went thousands of years into the future. But, of course, thousands of years in the future from thousands of years ago brings us to the current times when the Mayan calendars stop in 2012.
Modern new-agey people decided that the wise Mayans stopped making calendars because they knew when the world will end. And because the new-agers are happy (though scientifically illiterate people), their vision of 2012 was a great spiritual awakening or world reboot or other hippy-consciousness-expanding nonsense that the Mayans, who spend time pulling strings of thorns through people's tongues probably didn't have in mind.
To a normal person, the thought that "Calendar finished, therefore End of the World" is an odd conclusion to draw.
After all, the amount of time in the Universe is infinite, and the amount of stone is limited. So, at some point, the Mayans had to stop carving calendars.
But never mind.
What should have stayed a fringe belief turned into mass hysteria with the 2012 disaster movie that swept the Academy Awards and the numerous Emmy-nominated apocalypse documentaries on The History Channel.
What happened to you guys?
Anyway, after this, NASA became so inundated with questions that they had to take time away from their busy robot building, frontier pushing, knowledge expanding, civilization inspiring schedule, to write a webpage explaining that "No, a human-sacrificing, stone-aged society, with neither wheels to pull carts nor glass to make telescopes, didn't know more about science at the dawn of history than real scientists do today."
But the parade of crazy marched on anyway making wilder and wilder predictions for Earth, including:
Geomagnetic Reversal (A process that unfolds on a geologic time scale, not a single day.)
A collision with mysterious Planet X (That no astronomers have found.)
A local star going supernova (Despite there have been no such candidates.)
An Alien Invasion (Which is ludicrous on the face of it...or is it?)
And a galactic synchronization beam, whatever the hell that is.
A sane person at this point would wonder how Mayans were able to predict astro-physical anomalies thousands of years in advance and millions of miles away yet didn't foresee the Spanish coming across the Atlantic.
And that's because the Mayans never predicted apocalypse. The only people to claim that Mayans knew about the end of the world were distinctly not Mayans.
註一：the New Agey people是指那些推崇「新時代運動」(the New Age Movement)的人。他們通常只吃有機食物、做瑜珈、喜歡冥想，相信世界末日會讓世界重新來過，得以重生。